Jim Pyburn’s recent passing has us waxing second-handedly nostalgic for the Auburn ballers of the ’50s, of which there are many. A few weeks back, we documented the Dread Pirate Roberts-ish details of Zeke Smith’s nickname. But we’re dedicating this space simply to four nifty photos of Joe Childress, just for the hell of it.
Childress was a god. He lead the SEC in rushing and scoring his junior year (1954). That was enough to earn him the cover of the Official NCAA Football Guide for 1955.
The two-time All-American led Auburn in rushing his senior year with 1,677 yards. He was the Gator Bowl’s Most Valuable Player two years in a row (’54 and ’55). He was also one the SEC’s premiere linebackers. Later, he was a star running back for the Chicago / St. Louis Cardinals…
…and had time to pose for photos with slingshots, like the one The Plainsman printed in it’s July 2, 1958 issue.
“Joltin’ Joe” died of cancer on his 53rd birthday—October 26, 1986. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame one year later.
Let’s War Eagle forever.
Football cards via.
* Pompadours on the Plains: The 50s revival at Auburn
* Bear Bryant’s lost year at Auburn
* Classic punxploitation flick features broadcast of Auburn game
* Auburn students stand in for Joaquin Phoenix, stars of Space Camp (1985)
* The G.I. Joe from Auburn
* Videographer behind AU hype videos wasn’t initially sold on “All I Do is Win”
Check your stats. Joe did not rush for 1677 yards in a season.
Might be wrong. I thought it was a lot, too, but that’s what the ASHOF has on its website (maybe accidentally threw a 1 in front). Haven’t found another source to check it against. Please let know if you find anything.
I think I see the problem now. My 2002 media guide has Joe listed as having a career total of 1667 yards. The ASHOF has it mistakenly listed as a single year total. Still a great player.
Karla Childress Kahn says
Thanks for remembering and publishing lovely photos of my dad. Sitting a year and half later from the article date in Istanbul, Turkey on vacation and ran across it. Made my day across the world!
Karla Childress Kahn
And that made my day, Karla. I’ll send you some more if / when I find them.
Karla. My name is Dan Browning. I was friends with your brother Mark in Forest Cove and you Dad coached our pee wee football team. I can find no trace of Mark online. If possible give him my email address. Would love to get back in touch with him. [email protected]. Thanks
curtis ingram says
Its Curtis Ingram, I lived down the street from you, Callie, Daryl and Mark my best friend at the time. I miss the old neighborhood for sure. How is your mom? Man those were good times. You remember my 4 sisters? Tell Mark hi for me. My email address is [email protected]